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Army Battle Drills List 2024

Army Battle Drill
Army Battle Drill

Army Battle drills are initiated on a cue, such as an enemy action or the leader’s order,
and are a trained response to that stimulus.

They require minimal leader orders to accomplish and are vital to success in combat and critical to preserving life.

One of the US military’s best practices is the battle drill. Let’s examine battle drills and consider how we might benefit from adopting this best practice in our civilian lives and careers.

Army Battle Drills List 2024

Below is a list of the US Army Battle Drills

Battle Drill NumberBattle Drill Description
Battle Drill 1React to Direct Fire Contact
Battle Drill 1AConduct a Squad Assault
Battle Drill 2Conduct a Platoon Assault
Battle Drill 2AConduct a Squad Assault
Battle Drill 3Break Contact
Battle Drill 4React to Ambush
Battle Drill 5Knock Out a Bunker
Battle Drill 6Enter the Building/Clear the Room
Battle Drill 7Enter a Trench to Secure a Foothold
Battle Drill 8Conduct the Initial Breach of a Mined Wire Obstacle
Battle Drill 9React to Indirect Fire
Battle Drill 10React to a Chemical Attac
Battle Drill 11React to an IED
Battle Drill 12Dismount a BFV and ICV
Battle Drill 13Mount a BFV and ICV
Battle Drill 14Execute Action Right or Left While Mounted
Army Battle Drills
  • BFV stands for Bradley Fighting Vehicle
  • ICV stands for Infantry Carrier Vehicle.
  • IED stand for Improvised Explosive Device

Battle Drill 1: React to Direct Fire Contact

Battle Drill 1 involves the immediate response of a squad to enemy fire. 

This drill entails the following:

  • Returning fire
  • Seeking cover
  • Communicating enemy location for coordinated counter-response.

Battle Drill 1A: Conduct a Squad Assault

Battle Drill 1A, a squad is directed to neutralize an enemy position through direct assault. 

This drill entails the following:

  • Organizing the enemy
  • Advancing the enemy
  • Engaging the enemy

Understanding Battle Drills

A battle drill is nothing more than a drill. It’s a collective action that must be done quickly and/or sequentially in order to save time and get important things accomplished. 

A battle drill is initiated because a trigger is met or on cue with minimal input from leaders and without the application of a deliberate decision-making process. It’s a trained response to a given stimulus. 

A battle drill is like an SOP, or standardized operating procedure, with the exception that it requires action, not just knowledge, on behalf of its participants.

Military Battle Drills

React to Contact

The first battle drill most soldiers are taught is “react to contact.” What this battle drill teaches you is what to do when someone is shooting at you. 

The first thing you do when someone is shooting at you is to return well-aimed fire, and then you seek cover and concealment. Then you yell the direction and distance of the enemy.

This battle drill is rehearsed so many times that it becomes second nature. When the time comes, and you’re under fire, you don’t freeze up or overthink what to do. You simply return fire so the bad guy stops shooting and ducks for cover. 

Then, you hit the ground or move for cover. And then you let everyone else in your team know that there’s an enemy fighting position 200 meters to your three o’clock. 

The squad leader, team leader, or platoon leader can now maneuver the rest of his unit to close with and destroy the enemy.

Troops in Contact

Let’s move up to the headquarters. The most important battle drill for a headquarters is “troops in contact” or “tick.” 

This battle drill begins when they get a radio report that one of their subordinate units is fighting with the bad guys. Everyone in the headquarters stopped what they were doing and immediately executed their portion of the battle drill.

  • The air liaison officer starts to look up what close air support assets are in the vicinity and available to support the troops in contact.
  • The medical team wakes the aid station and the Medivac crew to ensure they are prepared to go get and/or treat casualties.
  • The operations officer looks up what assets are nearby and is prepared to call in the quick reaction force if required or appropriate.

Everyone in the headquarters is focused on their portion of the battle drill to ensure that the conditions are or will be set to survive and/or dominate the engagement.


A very common military battle drill is medical evacuation, or Medivac. If someone gets injured, the guys on the ground call in a nine-line Medivac request. This initiates the Medivac battle drill at the headquarters.

Medivac Battle Drill Steps
Someone wakes up the pilots so that they can get their helicopter ready for flight. 
The medics prep the medical supplies and load up any special equipment needed to reach, treat, or stabilize the casualties. 
Someone else checks the weather to see if they can even fly to the location of the casualty.

If there’s a big firefight going on, then sometimes they won’t fly the Medivac aircraft without an armed escort. 

So this means that you need to conduct very quick coordination with the Aviation Task Force to have a team of Apaches fly alongside the Medivac mission.

So for one firefight, we have battle drills at three different levels. The soldiers on the ground react to contact. The headquarters conducts a “troop in contact” or “tick” battle drill, and the medical team does the medivac. 

There are a lot of moving pieces, and these battle drills are made and rehearsed every single day to make sure that not one minute is wasted when it comes to supporting the warfighter on the ground.

Civilian Battle Drills

Let’s move on to a few civilian examples.

Fire Drill

Let’s begin with the most familiar battle drill, a fire drill. When a fire happens and it can’t be stopped, Dad calls the fire department. Everyone else immediately exits the building. 

Mom makes sure that the little daughter doesn’t sleep through the alarm, and the brother grabs the dog. Dad also holds everyone in the family accountable and ensures that they’re at a safe distance from the flames. 

This is a standard drill, but it must be rehearsed so that everyone knows what to do and where to meet.

Tornado Warning

Now apply this concept to a tornado warning. Grab the kids and perhaps your smartphone. Get to the basement, where, hopefully, you have the supplies you might need in the terrible event that your house gets destroyed.

T-shirt Order Processing

Imagine you run a T-shirt company, and you get a huge order for your latest T-shirt design. You can dillydally with the order and work on it as you want to, or you could make a battle drill out of it and significantly increase efficiency. 

As soon as the order arrives, everyone is notified.

  • Someone collects the T-shirts by color and size.
  • Someone else gets the printers online and does a test run.
  • Another teammate gets the boxes ready for shipping.
  • And another teammate prints the shipping labels.

Everyone is working simultaneously to process the new order as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is about having a plan with a division of labor and rehearsing it so that you can do it faster and more efficiently each time.


Okay, there you have it: a quick discussion on the use and importance of a battle drill. I hope that you are learning something new and that you are now thinking of ways that you can make your workplace or family more efficient. 

Let me know what battle drills you have and use in your personal life and at work in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

George N.